We all know of the playbook coaches use to help their team win the game. But what about a digital playbook? In basketball, the Coach will teach his players how to run specific plays designed to score baskets and win the game. These same principles can be applied to winning in business. In fact, there is an entire industry built around helping businesses develop and execute winning strategies. But what if you don't have a team of experts at your disposal? What if you're a solopreneur or small business owner who has to wear all the hats? That's where a digital playbook can come in handy. The name was created (in an attempt) to make the otherwise dull guide of policies and procedures a bit more fun and interesting. However, that doesn't mean that a digital playbook can't be an essential tool for businesses of all sizes. Or that it can't be fun and interesting for that matter. In this article, we'll explore what digital playbooks are, how they can benefit your business, and some tips for creating one.
Digital Playbook: Just like in Sports
Much like sports teams have a playbook that outlines plays and strategy, businesses need a digital playbook to help them succeed online. A digital playbook can help businesses map out their digital marketing strategy, including what tactics to use and when to use them. By having a plan in place, businesses can ensure that they are making the most of their digital marketing efforts. The digital playbook should be tailored to the specific business and its goals. For example, a business that is looking to increase brand awareness may want to focus on SEO and content marketing, while a business that is looking to drive sales may want to focus on email marketing and paid advertising. Regardless of the goals, there should be a clear plan of action that outlines what tactics will be used and when. Executing a digital marketing campaign without a digital playbook product is like trying to run a football play without a game plan. You may be able to make some progress, but you're not going to get very far. Need help setting up your digital playbook template? At Wizard of Ads®, we have years of experience helping businesses create marketing campaigns that align expertly with all things digital. Book a call with us today to learn more!
This is Why You Need a Digital Playbook
You may be thinking, "Sure. A digital playbook sounds great and all, but will it really be worth the time and effort to create one?" The answer is a resounding yes! Here's why you need to raise your digital standards:
- Most business owners are not familiar with the scope of digital technology: A digital playbook will help to ensure that you stay focused on the most important tasks for the available budget while keeping up-to-date on the latest digital trends.
- You're having a tough time deciding how to manage a project: By having a digital playbook, you'll have a go-to guide that will help you manage projects more efficiently.
- You're juggling too many organizational priorities: A digital playbook can help you keep track of all the digital initiatives your organization is working on through a single unified plan.
- You're constantly juggling “urgent" and "new" projects": Digital playbook software helps you prioritize projects and digital activities by their strategic importance.
- You keep bringing up the same points: When you have a digital playbook, you can keep track of digital best practices and avoid repeating yourself.
- You find yourself repeatedly explaining the same things to clients and stakeholders: A digital playbook can help you keep everyone on the same page by providing digital resources and guidelines in one central location.
- Your team is unclear in direction and concentration: Digital playbooks can help with focusing your team's digital efforts by providing clear goals and objectives.
As you can see, a digital playbook can be essential to your digital agency's success. By providing clear guidelines and digital resources, you can help your team stay focused and on track. If you don't have a digital playbook, now is the time to create one!
What Should Be Included in Your Digital Playbook?
Now that we know what a digital playbook is and why it's an important tool for businesses, let's take a look at what should be included in yours.
Digital Team Roles
Many businesses tend to be dismissive of or even undervalue the role the digital team plays in their success. This is a mistake. Your digital people can bring a lot of value to an organization, and this page can help shape colleagues' expectations and perceptions of your team. This page can also be used to set some parameters about how the organization uses digital. If you find that colleagues are using digital in detrimental ways, then this page can be used to help set some guidelines about digital usage.
The way your organization approaches its digital projects is all dependent on the guiding principles that you set in place. Having a set of best practices allows for better decision-making and keeps everyone on the same page. Not only that, but these principles can be used as a digital playbook of sorts to help with project management. And because they're usually short statements, they're easy to remember and communicate to others. A good digital playbook example for an HVAC company might have guiding principles like:
- Helping people win
- Being trustworthy
- Living gratefully
What matters most is that these principles are adhered to in order to create a digital strategy that works best for your company and aligns with its core values.
Instructions For Planning a Digital Project
Instead of constantly encountering team members who are ill-prepared for the next digital project, include a set of step-by-step instructions that everyone must follow in the digital playbook. This will standardize the way digital projects are approached and ensure that everyone is on the same page from the start. Planning a digital project can seem daunting, but if you break it down into smaller steps it becomes much more manageable. This part of your digital playbook is not only educational but can also set specific expectations for the team. For example, you may prefer to plan out your projects using user story cards instead of a traditional project brief. There are many ways to approach digital project planning, and adding it to your digital playbook will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page from the start. This will make digital projects much more streamlined and efficient, leading to better results for everyone involved.
How to Manage Ongoing Digital Content
A digital playbook is an essential tool for managing a website over its lifetime. It spells out the obligations of all stakeholders in terms of maintaining and evolving the site. Content management is a key part of this playbook. In particular, it outlines how often content should be updated and retired. This ensures that your website remains fresh and relevant over time. For instance, you might stipulate that content owners must update their pages every six months. This ensures that outdated information is not left on the site for too long. Similarly, you might set a policy for retiring content that is no longer relevant. This helps to keep your site focused and streamlined.
Roles and Requirements
The digital playbook can be an excellent opportunity to outline some of the different roles involved and show some of the skills that those fulfilling these jobs will require. It's great for situations where a team member doesn't know who to contact regarding digital delivery, or when a project manager wants to give digital professionals the credit they deserve. With roles and requirements set in place, who is doing what becomes abundantly clear, and it prevents people from taking on tasks that aren't listed in their role description. It also informs colleagues about the level of complexity and collaboration a project might entail. This is an extremely useful interactive playbook example for digital novices who might be taken aback by the level of difficulty a digital project can pose.
Rules of Compliance
Last but not least, you can use the digital playbook as a way to help stakeholders understand some of the more technical aspects of a project. Questions such as hosting, SEO, testing, backup, and integration can all be covered. This is also a chance to educate people about responsive design and cross-browser support. In other words, it's not just about establishing guidelines — it's also about teaching people how complex digital projects can be. If you can do this effectively, your digital playbook will be a success.
What Approach Should You Take to Navigate the Digital Landscape?
A contentful digital playbook has the flexibility to adapt and become whatever it needs to be to serve your company to its highest potential. However, one element of your digital playbook that should always remain is its ability to prominently address inquiries from stakeholders. In other words, your digital strategy should always be about solving their problems and removing stress from anyone involved in the project. Think of it as a user manual for digital success. Whether you're just getting started or are looking to fine-tune your digital strategy, a contentful digital playbook can help you navigate the digital landscape and find the right approach for your business. If your playbook can't problem solve, or be a source for solutions, your digital team won't have the resources and tools they need to succeed. For example, say your social media manager is having trouble with an algorithm change on Instagram. They go to reference the digital playbook pdf for guidance, but there is no content addressing this topic. This can lead to frustration and a feeling of being unsupported by those in charge. As the digital landscape changes, so should your digital playbook. Keep your digital team in the loop by ensuring that your digital strategy is up-to-date and relevant Your digital strategy will take some time and effort to put together, but once it's done you'll have a sound plan to guide your business through the digital landscape for years to come.
Every business, no matter how big or small should have a digital playbook. It is the roadmap to healthier brand culture, synchronicity, performance, and profitability. It helps keep everyone on the same page when it comes to your marketing strategy. Remember, your digital strategy is not a one-and-done. It will continue to evolve as your business grows and changes. There is a lot to consider when creating your playbook, but it’s worth taking the time to do it right. If you’d rather leave your playbook creation to us, we’d be happy to help! At Wizard of Ads®, we know how valuable a well-crafted playbook can be for any business. Book a call with us today so we can discuss how we can create one tailored specifically for you.